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Election 2004

Most recent update: July 27, 2004
 

ALERT!!!

Coon refuses to turn over presidency

In a move to block newly-elected president Lou Dechert from taking office as the National President of the KWVA, Harley Coon and the Executive Council (by a vote of 8 to 2) voted to refuse to allow Dechert to take office as was scheduled for July 26, 2004.  Dechert sent the following e-mail alert (7/26/04):

"Friends,
I trust that you are ready to defend the KWVA against assault by Coon, Inc. This morning's Executive Council (EC) started with a blast by Mr. Edwards against anyone that did not vote for Coon, Inc.  Mr. Coon made a few blasts at ad hoc and "unnamed individuals."  Followed by an attempt by Cook, Nominations Chairman, to get Lee Dauster, who beat him in the election (already distributed) thrown out. "He did not have his four year's dues paid--although he did have the three years paid, when his application came in and before the people were placed in Graybeards.  But with preplanned and adroit questioning by Edwards, Cook volunteered that "Lois T. Dechert interfered with the election."

Ms. Wenzel then made motion (she called it a resolution) vaguely referring to "rumors" of inappropriate actions by Louis T Dechert in the election, moving that a committee of Ms. Wenzel, Jones, Grogan, and McKinniss be appointed to investigate the rumors and report at the annual meeting and that Louis T Dechert not be seated as President until that time" - or words to this effect.  Edwards sanctimoniously abstained, Ferris and MacSwain voted no, everyone else voted yes.

Edwards then quickly made the motion that since we were without leadership, Harley Coon be appointed acting president until the September meeting. A chorus of boos from the audience greeted that proposal but the Council voted 8-2 (Ferris and MacSwain NO).  A recess was called.  I informed my associates and Coon and several Directors that I didn't want it reported that "I stormed out of the meeting"; but, being under investigation by the current EC it was improper for me to remain.

I immediate informed my PR/Graybeard/Webmaster designee Ted Barker of what transpired and ask that he make it widely known, including the Associated Press. I told Ted that I would continue to use him as the single source of information as I am on the road with limited commo means. I see that he got the word out.

When the EC reconvened from their recess Edwards led a move to cancel the meeting announced for the new EC on 07..27, and suggested that none of the newly elected individual be sworn in since, essentially, they were leaderless. This presently under consideration.  I called the Attorney General of Ohio and NY and invoked sanctions against the KWVA.

That wraps it up fairly well. Charley Price will handle all questions addressed to me by the lynch committee appointed to investigate me. Ted Barker will continue to be the point of contact for news. Veteran friends, you are requested to take action to protect your organization against yet another illegal takeover by Coon, inc. Thanks for your help--

Sign me, Lou and the Hill 2004!
Officers and directors, from the Alamo!!
  - Lou


Call to Arms

Ted Barker, Dechert's communication contact, has sent out the following request for assistance from members of the KWVA: 

"If you want to get on top of this, call each of your fellow Ad-Hoc and KWVA chapter members to alert them of this illegal procedure. Harley has been voted to continue as Acting President while a committee he appointed to investigate Lou and his slate. They voted to remove Lee Dauster. Much more to come.

Call the Attorney General of New York and especially the Dayton TV stations and media. Call Mr. Diehl at the Ohio Attorney General at:

Gary Diehl, Investigator
Charitable Law Section
150 E. Gay St. 23rd Fl.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 466-3180

This is an official email from the Hill 2004 Interim Media Representative.

Any media calls to: Ted Barker (214) 320-0342


Alerting of Authorities

Following are messages from Ted and Hal Barker, who are working closely with Lou Dechert at this point in time:

Folks,

Lisa Davidson, AG Charities is out of office. Diehl, Investigator for Ms. Davidson is also out. So, Flanking Attack: Call for the Secretary to Jim Petro, make the call short with:

Name: Melissa Vasil
Subject: KWVA Board Meeting, Dayton Ohio July 26th, 2004
Complain that the Board is nullifying a valid election of Col. Lou Dechert.
614-466-4320

Or, Call: Governor Bob Taft at:
614-466-3555

-----

Folks,

Just off the phone with Jim Hannah of the AP in Dayton. Not talked to him in a long while, gave him the guts of the story.

Also, just off the phone with WHIO-TV, Dayton
(937)-259-2111 ask for News Desk, Dana.

Dana is working up a profile for possible story as is Jim Hannah. If you call Dana, make it short and subject; Korean War Veterans Group, Hijacked.

More to come!

Ted
 

----

Korean War Veterans Association Board Meeting, Dayton Ohio, 7/26/04

Call and/or email this man immediately.

Ask him to immediately investigate the Current Board Meeting in Dayton of the KWVA. Tell him to add you to the list of complainants of irregularities of President Harley Coon.

Bob Labadie
Director of Veteran Affairs, Ohio
PH: 614-644-0892, or
rlabadie@gov.state.oh.us


Personally, I suggest email.

Ted Barker
cc: Bob Labidie
 

----

Folks, Keep up the Fire! Got a call from the Atty General's office in Ohio, Jim Renshaw. He asked that I call off the wolves.

I told him the contact people, Davidson and Diehl were not in office and this is a time sensitive issue. He has a very deep file on this and is now having to man the oars, so to speak.

The issues before this group are both legal and political. Political in Ohio, for Coon and Mahoney, and among KWVA members who have had their election HIJACKED! The legal issues will play out over time.

I called Michael Witherspoon, the CPA who certified the election. I gave his contact info to the media and to the Attorney General. I am sure he will not be pleased and will notify the Board of Accountancy in Illinois and the AICPA as he must do.

Mr. Witherspoon did a very good job for the membership of the KWVA!

Mr. Renshaw is going to call Lou Dechert after a lengthy talk with me. I explained that since the KWVA was and is doing business in Ohio that there ARE Ohio issues.

The Cocoanut Telegraph* says that Pres. Coon will be in Washington, DC on the 27th to meet with high ranking Republic of Korea officials for the Revisit Program. This will be a very unfortunate happenstance for the rank and file membership since the recently elected officials will not have representation.

*Cocoanut Telegraph is a Floridian term for rumor control.

Each person needs to call 10 fellow KWVA members! When and if I get confirmation of a press story, I shall cc: the Ad-Hoc with the slug line or airing time so that each person who has local media contacts can alert their local media.

Slug line info is how the media look up a wire story and pull down for local printing or follow up.

Ted Barker

----

Greetings,

I just got off the phone with the Office of the Governor of Ohio.

The Governor has uncategorically refused to produce additional financial records relating to the yearly $50,000 grants from the Governors' Office of Veterans Affairs to Mr. Coon and Mr. Mahoney of the Department of Ohio - Korean War Veterans Association.

The request consisted of copies of the cancelled checks, reports of use of funds, and all the file relating to the grants. According to the Governor of Ohio, these records are not retained and are unavailable to the Governor of the State of Ohio as a matter of law.

This is the first time in 30 years that I have been told that a governmental agency does not have access to cancelled checks or financial records relating to taxpayer grants.

The record I did obtain was the check register of the Department of Ohio, but pages were missing from this register.

The contact number is 614-466-3555, Mr. Barron. Official statement from Mr. Barron. - You have "all you are going to get." -

Hal Barker

---

Here is a compilation of contacts that were referenced in Monday's flurry of Ad-Hoc and private emails.

Although Ohio officials do not really want this type of contact it is their collective jobs to handle legal and political issues.

Collectively these people will tell you that there is nothing they can do with the internal operations of a Veterans group, politically there is much that can be done.

I can tell you from personal experience that there is always something that an Attorney General can do to control rogue behavior! For example: the County District Attorney is generally the arm of law enforcement to handle potential criminal violations.

On the other hand, the same Attorney Generals often quash citizen complaints.

Ohio Governmental Contacts:

Governor Bob Taft's office:
PH: 614-466-3555
FX: 614-752-4858

30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6117
----------------------------
Director of Ohio Veteran Affairs
Bob Labadie*
PH: 614-644-0892
email: rlabadie@gov.state.oh.us

*Mr. Labadie has regular direct contact with Mike Mahoney, Outgoing Director Ntl KWVA
Mahoney is President of the Dpt of Ohio KWVA

Michael Mahoney
Department of Ohio - Korean War Veterans Association
EIN 31-1414868
35 E. Chestnut Street, Floor 4
Columbus, OH 43215

-----------------------------
Attorney General Jim Petro
Secretary: Melisa Vasil*
PH: 614-466-4320
email: MVasil@ag.state.oh.us

* Always contact the Secretary, the most useful person on anyone's rolodex

Attorney General Petro's staff

Jim Renshaw, Attorney*
PH: PH: 614-466-4320

*Called Ted Barker twice on Monday 7/26/04

Mark Gribben, Attorney
PH: 614-466-4320
email: mgribben@ag.state.oh.us


Gary Diehl, Investigator
Charitable Law Section, Attorney General Ohio
150 E. Gay St. 23rd Fl.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
PH:(614) 466-3180
email: GDiehl@ag.state.oh.us

Ms. Lisa Davidson*
Charitable Law Section, Attorney General Ohio
150 E. Gay St. 23rd Fl.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
PH: (614) 466-3180
email: ldavidson@ag.state.oh.us

* Ms. Davidson is the first person contacted in May 2004. She quickly started work on the complaints filed by KWVA members, handing over to Gary Diehl.

On July 6th, 2004 Mr. Diehl made Mr. Coon register with the State of Ohio

--------------------
New York Attorney General*
New York Charities Bureau
PH: 518-486-9797

*This is the Division where the lapsed New York filing exists, referenced in previous email from Lynnita Brown. Documents also posted on Ad-Hoc file system.


Ted Barker


KWVA Judge Advocate Speaks Out

Following is an e-mail message from KWVA Judge Advocate Sherman Pratt to Nick Pappas, former president of the KWVA.  It was mailed July 26, 2004:

Nick -

Copy of message from Ted Barker advising of Executive Council action at Dayton blocking election of Dechert and appointment of Harley as acting president received.

I am at a loss to understand how the EC could believe that they could legally take such action. In the unlikelihood that I am asked for my views I will so state, but I do not contemplate that I will be further involved. With the completion of the election and the replacement of the president and council that appointed me JA, I now consider my term expired and my duties as JA terminated.

Sherm Pratt
Life Member KWVA

Sherman Pratt, Lt Col US Army (Ret)
15`12 So. 20th St.,
Arlington VA 22202
Tel 703 521 7706

Status of Coonite Takeover

Few details are yet known, but Lou Dechert and other elected officials of the KWVA drove to Columbus, Ohio, on July 27 to meet with State of Ohio officials to file an injunction against Harley Coon and the Coonites on the Executive Council who were holding the KWVA hostage.  Sometime today, the reins of the KWVA were finally turned over to Dechert and the newly-elected council members. 

Meanwhile, reports are that Harley Coon was a disruptive force at a special meeting held in Washington DC after illegally taking over the KWVA as a fourth-term interim president.  KWVA member Keith Fannon reported:

"I received a phone call from J.D. Randolph this afternoon.  As most of you know he went to D.C. to present the Freedom Plaque to the DOD.  He said that the ceremony was great with many South Korean dignitaries and ROK Veterans in attendance. He said that Harley showed up and tried to force his way into the ceremony, but was ejected by security."
 

As more details are forthcoming about the strange turn of events surrounding the Dot Wenzel motion and Coonite council member vote to obstruct Lou Dechert from assuming his duly-elected position as president of the KWVA, the KWE will notify its visitors on this page.


Special Bulletin

KWVA National has tampered with the Year 2004 election process! See The "Special Bulletin" section below for details.

Member Alert

What is termed an "official publication of the Korean War Veterans Association" has recently been distributed to members of the KWVA by US mail. Headlined with the title, "Special Bulletin", this publication is an obvious attempt to rig the Year 2004 election in favor of Coonite candidates. The significance of this illegal tactic, which is coming out of the KWVA national headquarters at 1534 Marsetta Drive in Beavercreek, Ohio, is so outrageous that an appeal should be made to a federal judge to intervene on behalf of the members of the KWVA. This attempt to rig the election is being made now that the ballots have been distributed and voting has begun. "Official publications of the Korean War Veterans Association" are funded by the members, including ALL candidates (Coonite candidates and Take Hill 2004 candidates) running for office who are dues paying members of the organization. The KWVA national is using these members' money to run a smear campaign against non-Coonite candidates and to conduct one-sided electioneering for Coonite candidates.

With the distribution of the "Special Bulletin" while the voting process is underway, the Year 2004 election has, in effect, been rigged by national officers who favor Coonite candidates and who are attempting to convince members to elect Coonite candidates.


Page Contents

Introduction
Take Hill 2004 & KWE Disclaimer
Lou Dechert, Candidate for President
Priorities as New President
Other Take Hill 2004 Candidates
Byron Dickerson for 2nd VP Bio
Lee Dauster for Director Bio
Dean McClain for Director Bio
Unethical Electioneering Tactics
   - Coon Endorsements in Graybeards
   - Edwards Attempts to Discredit Dechert
   - Krepps Distorts the Facts
   - Jack Edwards Plays the Shell Game
   - Coonites Misuse The Graybeards
The "Special Bulletin"
Aftermath of the "Special Bulletin"
Lack of Defined Procedure
Reflecting Back - Election 2001
Reflecting Back - Election 1999
Jerome Manley Letter


Introduction

The 2004 KWVA national election will be in July. This year, the term of office for the current illegal President, as well as the First Vice President and Second Vice President will expire. So will the terms of four Directors of the Executive Council. Successful candidates for the officer positions will hold office from 2004 to 2006, and winning candidates for the four council positions will hold office from 2004 to 2007.

While it is extremely supportive of the Korean War Veterans Association itself, the Korean War Educator is not supportive of the administration of Harley J. Coon. To begin with, Coon came by this particular presidential term illegally, having circumvented KWVA by-laws to create a third-term presidency not heretofore permitted by the KWVA's governing rules. Coon then unabashedly used the organization's national magazine to electioneer for himself during the 2002 election. For instance, just prior to the 2002 election, the Graybeards magazine carried a fraudulent photograph of the KWVA national headquarters. The caption under the cosmetically-altered photograph of the "HarCo" building (owned at the time by Harley Coon), said it was "first class" and "donated space." Neither proved to be true, but only a handful of KWVA members are yet aware of this fact (and were not made aware until after the election), because The Graybeards magazine is 100% censored by Harley Coon and Vincent Krepps, the magazine editor. Members are told only what Coon and Krepps want them to know.

During the Coon administration, the KWVA Quartermaster position was eliminated. The quartermaster inventory was then sold in an unadvertised sale by the executive council to "one of its own." Council members voted to sell the estimated $103,000 worth of inventory (value stated in The Graybeards) to KWVA national officer Kenneth Cook. Cook then sold the items for his own personal gain, using the name "KWVA Quartermaster" on his private bank account. He wrote insufficient funds checks on this account to vendors (some of whom were members of the KWVA), causing harm not only to individual members, but also to the reputation of the organization.

Furthermore, the $600,000-plus funds in the KWVA treasury have not been properly audited during the entire Coon administration. (KWVA officials say they have been "95% audited.") Meanwhile, KWVA operating funds have been distributed in the form of "Goodwill Gifts" to sponsor a baseball team in Harley Coon's locality in Ohio, and to other organizations in which certain KWVA executive council members have interests.

Long-time, loyal members have been ousted from office and/or from the membership roster on trumped up charges, and one associate member was even removed from the membership roster by "executive order" when Harley Coon used what KWVA Judge Advocate Sherman Pratt called "implied powers" to once again circumvent KWVA bylaws for self-serving purposes. There have also been breaches of advertising contracts with Graybeards advertisers who do not agree with Harley Coon's administrative methods. Complaints from members to the newsletter editor have resulted on more than one occasion in "Go to Hell" letters from Vincent Krepps.

One of the latest travesties against the members of the KWVA came at the executive council meeting in Beavercreek, Ohio, on October 23-26, 2003, when council member Don Byers tried to push through a motion that would allow the current KWVA council members to recommend a slate of nominees to run for office. The bios and photographs of these hand-picked candidates would be published in The Graybeards, but all other candidates would merely be write-in candidates on the ballot. The Byers Motion was not defeated. Instead, it now sits in committee and will be voted on at a later date. If it should pass, this motion would effectively rig all future KWVA elections so that the officers and council members of the current sitting council would always remain in control of the ballot.


Take Hill 2004 & KWE Disclaimer

The campaign to rid the KWVA of those persons guilty of the above offenses against the membership (and so shamefully many more), is called, "Take Hill 2004." The Korean War Educator is so supportive of the efforts of the organizers of Take Hill 2004 to improve the quality of the KWVA, it has reserved this page of the KWE to provide bios and other information about Take Hill 2004 candidates. The following non-political candidates are endorsed by the Korean War Educator. The KWE will not post the bios of any candidate who has not stated in writing that he or she is opposed to the Harley Coon Administration. Also, any candidate listed below must have also stated in writing that he or she, if elected, will strive to resolve and undo the harmful acts against the members of KWVA that were perpetrated by Coon and other executive council members during Coon's tenure as both the legal and illegal president of the KWVA.


LOU DECHERT, CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT

Mailing Address/Contact Information:
Col. Louis T. Dechert (Ret)
1144A Jim Meyer Drive
Alexandria, LA 71303
Phone: 318-445-1035

Campaign Promise of Louis Dechert

". . .When Lou Dechert is elected president of the KWVA, Lou Dechert will not make the decisions. Instead, Lou Dechert will act like the president of the KWVA is supposed to act -- he will lead discussions and occasionally have a tie-breaking vote, but the members of the Executive Council will make the decisions. Dechert will serve the council--the council will not serve Dechert. In turn, and foremost, both Dechert and the members of the Executive Council will serve the members of the KWVA -- which is as it should be, but never has been, during the illegal term of Harley J. Coon. . ." [ Lynnita Jean Brown , KWE, 01.03.2004, publicly adopted as my campaign promise]. "Carrying out this campaign promise will restore members-directed government to the KWVA, the beginning of the solution," Dechert said.

According to Dechert, this campaign promise is no good without electing Dick Adams, Byron Dickerson, Ed Cutler, Dean McClain, Lee Dauster, and Bob Morga along with Dechert. Dechert further stated, "Electing me will help to (1) restore self-respecting legal governance to the Korean War Veterans Association; (2) provide a revitalized vision of the things the organization should be doing for veterans; (3) continue the unique Graybeards as a magazine, with a better attitude and more representative of all the membership; and, (4) provide and encourage openness to proposals for organizational and financial changes to better manage the organization's affairs."


About Lou Dechert – In His Own Words

I am a candidate for President of the Korean War Veterans Association. My name is Louis T. Dechert (Lou Dechert). You can get a very good idea of me, what I believe, and how I conduct business by checking my website at www.dechertsitreps.com.

I was born in 1931 in the heart of the Texas hill country—Junction, Texas. About the time that I started school, my dad, a "country boy", got a job with the new Bureau of Aeronautics (now the FAA) of the federal government, and until the time I graduated from high school we traveled over all of the Central United States. Dad was a field maintenance engineer technician building aerial navigation facilities.

I was in junior and senior high school during World War II, and active in the Civil Air Patrol Cadets and the Boy Scouts. I graduated from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas, 1948, and started college in Oklahoma. At that time, I enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard, HQ & HQ Battery, 179th Field Artillery Battalion, 45th Infantry Division. I met my wife at college and we were married in Chanute, Kansas, August 21, 1949. At the completion of my sophomore year, we moved to Chanute and I worked as a relief yard clerk for the AT&SF Railroad. Our first child—a daughter—was born January 9, 1951. Our son was born May 9, 1952. On August 21, 1999, my wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.

Moving to Kansas took me out of the Oklahoma National Guard as it was being federalized for Korea. Subsequently, I enlisted in the Regular Army and entered the service on a freezing winter morning, January 31, 1951, at Fort Riley, Kansas. Two years later I finished OCS and was on my way to Korea as a Second Lieutenant. My highest enlisted rank was E5. My enlisted MOS was Infantry Squad Leader. My first officer MOS was Armored Unit Leader. My highest officer rank was Lieutenant Colonel, RA, Colonel NG.

Sailing to Korea on the USNS General Hershey is another story! On a cold (remember Korea!!) night in February 1953, I joined a 40th Division recon patrol between the positions of the 40th and 45th Divisions in the Punchbowl. I was the platoon leader, and I froze my butt off!! Several months later I was the Executive Officer of a Tank Company, part of the 140th Tank Battalion. Our battalion became the only unit in the 40th Division in the entire war—and one of only two in 8th Army in 1953—to be awarded the United States Presidential Unit Citation. It was for our support of the 12th ROK Division at the Battle of Hill 812, called at that time, "Luke’s Castle." That battle cost us six tanks, and five KIA, involved our entire battalion, and took almost two weeks before we defeated the enemy attack. Over 1,500 of our South Korean troops died on the positions we were defending and/or counterattacking to take back. I had been wounded and earned the Bronze Star with Valor during that battle.

Because of the caliber of the men that I met in Korea, I decided to try to make the Army a career. I was fortunate to survive several cutbacks along with over 48 months of combat in Korea and Southeast Asia, and Special Forces missions in South America and elsewhere, during a career of twenty-three years. I later was in the New Mexico National Guard, and recently served again in Special Operations deployments. I attended thirteen military schools, and served in every position from infantry squad leader to Infantry Brigade Commander. My most memorable assignments were as Deputy Commander, 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam, and later as G3, 1st Field Force (SRAC) Vietnam.

During my military years, I finished college with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and a Master of Arts in Spanish. I was accepted at the University of Texas (Austin) for the PhD program for Latin American Studies. I am bilingual, speaking fluent Spanish and English. I was relatively highly qualified, but like most Vietnam veterans, I found that starting a civilian career was difficult. You had to almost hide the fact that you had been in Vietnam, or be prepared to fight when confronted by prospective employers. Over the years, I built a career in management and consulting which has taken me through much of the United States and several foreign lands. I have served on Defense Advisory Committees, and been a consultant to a House subcommittee. I started the Consulting Services company in 1981, and am still active in that business, although obviously on a reduced scale.

The men with whom I fought and took care of in Korea profoundly impacted on my life. In fact, in 1964, I transferred to Special Forces because I felt that was about the only place left in the Army that the officers and NCOs were like the ones I served with in Korea—dependable, experienced fighters. In the Army in Korea, we had a large number of World War II officers and NCOs—some recalled, some career. They simply wanted to win the war, get it over with. They were no-nonsense soldiers—men whom Time Magazine honored as 1950s Man of the Year, American Fighting Man.

In 1999, a retired Special Forces friend asked me to become a charter member of a local chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association. At that time, I had never heard of the organization. I have been a leader of that great group of men, Central Louisiana Chapter 180, of Leesville, Louisiana, for three years now.

In 2001, our chapter became extremely concerned over the illegal disregard of the National bylaws of the KWVA by national officials. We decided to more or less go our own way, following the objectives that the National was supposed to be following, but otherwise staying away from them, legally, as long as they were breaking the law by disregarding bylaws and other legal problems. It finally became impossible for us to do so. We need a National organization representing Korean veterans which we should not be ashamed of or shy away from.

I have served in several veterans, military, and government organizations that conduct their affairs in an outstanding manner. I know how things should be done. I am the Commander, Department of Louisiana, of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and a life member of the MOPH. I am a life member in the Association of the US Army (AUSA), the 101st Airborne Division Association (#87), the 40th Infantry Division Association, the Special Forces Association, and of the KWVA. In the past I have belonged to the American Legion, VFW, and DAV. I was a Division Service Officer in the Texas American Legion.

Members, as Korean veterans we have yet another hill to take: Hill 2004, the 2004 National Election of the KWVA. Taking Hill 2004 will: (1) restore self-respecting legal governance to the Korean War Veterans Association; (2) provide a revitalized vision of the things the organization should be doing for veterans; (3) continue the unique Graybeards as a magazine, with a better attitude and more representative of all the membership; and, (4) provide and encourage openness to proposals for organizational and financial changes to better manage organizations affairs.

Hill 2004 will not be the final hill. Remember, just like Korea, "always another hill…". But taking Hill 2004 will give the members the critical terrain needed for the future operations and existence of the Association. I am prepared, ready, and willing to work with others of the same convictions to lead the organization to take the hill.

I fully recommend Dick Adams, Past President/Past Director, KWVA, for 1st Vice President. John Crane, President, West Florida Chapter #293 had originally planned to run for 2nd Vice President, but he has recently taken ill and reluctantly had to bow out of the running. All Take Hill 2004 participants wish John a speedy recovery. In the meantime, Byron Dickerson from the Dallas, Texas, Gen. Walton Walker Chapter of the KWVA stepped up to the bat, agreeing to run in Crane's stead. He's an equally excellent candidate. I likewise recommend Ed Cutler, President, Richard Cronan Chapter #17, Florida; Dean McClain, Past President, Mahoning Chapter #137, Ohio; Lee Dauster, President, Tuolumne County Chapter #7, California; and Bob Morga, Past director, KWVA/President, Central Long Island Chapter #64, New York, for Directors.

Let’s move out and Take Hill 2004! – Lou Dechert, Candidate for KWVA National President


Priorities as New President

On the KWVA Ad Hoc message board April 25, 2004, Lou Dechert announced these priorities for his administration, if elected:

"If elected President, I have certain priorities, in a more or less order of importance and action, even though they will all be in some stage of execution at the same time:

1) a 100 % legal audit of Coon’s records--thanks to some Directors steps in this direction are being started;

2) restoration of the legal bylaws of the KWVA;

3) an opportunity for all members abused by Coon to appear before the EC for redress that they were denied in violation of the bylaws;

4) salvage of The Greybeards from its degradation as a political tool for coon, inc;

5) pressing the case for a Charter for the KWVA (which I have already begun);

6) Bylaws reform (reform of the LEGAL bylaws, that is--see point 2), which would of course include a consideration of all submissions by the membership, preferably by Chapter and/or Department resolutions to the EC for consideration--term limits, regionalization, meetings, and other matters the membership suggests.


Other Take Hill 2004 Candidates

Pledging to right the wrongs of the Harley Coon Administration

President: Lou Dechert, Louisiana, President/Commander Chapter 180, four years; Commander Louisiana Department, Military Order of the Purple Heart, USA

1st Vice President: Dick Adams, California, Past President & Past Director, KWVA

2nd Vice President: Byron Dickerson, Texas, Judge Advocate, Department of Texas, KWVA

Director: Edward Cutler, Florida, President of Richard Cronan Chapter #17, KWVA

Director: Lee Dauster, California, President of Tuolumne County Chapter #7, KWVA

Director: Dean McClain, Ohio, Past President of Mahoning Chapter #137, KWVA

Director: Bob Morga, New York, Past Director, KWVA & President, Central Long Island Chapter #64, KWVA


BYRON DICKERSON - CANDIDATE FOR 2ND VICE PRESIDENT

Mailing Address/Contact Information:
Byron W. Dickerson
314 S. Horne
Duncanville, TX 75116
Ph. 298-7462

Campaign Promise of Byron Dickerson

"I am opposed to the Harley Coon administration as president of the national KWVA. If elected to the position of Second V.P. of the national KWVA, I will strive to resolve and undo the harmful acts against the members of KWVA that were perpetrated by Coon and other executive council members during Coon's tenure as both the legal and illegal President of the national KWVA."

 - Byron W. Dickerson, Candidate Sec. V.P. KWVA

About Byron Dickerson - In His Own Words

I was born, raised, and completed school in Girard, Texas. I entered the Army, August, 3, 1948.  A few months after the Korean War started, I was shipped to Korea, leaving the States on 15th of December 1950. I arrived in Pusan, Korea, January 5, 1951. I was assigned to HQ CO, 2d Battalion, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division. I participated in several battles; the last one being Heartbreak Ridge. I rotated from Korea on the 25th of November 1951. I put Korea out of my mind for the next fifty years.

When I learned there was a KWVA, I joined. I was asked if I would be willing to serve in some capacity in the formation of a Chapter in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Sam Naomi, a national organizer, contacted me in the summer of 2000 about forming Chapter 215. He appointed me the Chapter Judge Advocate. I told him, "Sam I am not an Attorney." He said, " you don't have to be; you just do what you think is right."

So my position is that I just do what is right in any decision that comes before me. I am the one that decides what's right based on the bylaws. I am currently the Judge Advocate of Chapter 215, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Texas, and the newly elected State of Texas Judge Advocate. I served two years on the Board of Directors of Chapter 215.

I retired from the U.S. Postal Service after thirty-seven years. I am 72 years old and in good health. I have been married for 51 years (to the same woman).

 I consider it an honor and privilege to be a candidate for Second Vice President of the National KWVA. My objective is the betterment of the KWVA. I believe that the attainment of a federal charter would be a step toward that objective. The admission or otherwise inclusion of DMZ veterans into the KWVA would also be a positive step. I also believe that there should be an educational program within the organization helping to make members aware of the various benefits available to them both at the national and state levels. An example would be providing information of cold weather injury benefits that I believe many of the members are unaware of.

I appreciate your consideration and support.

Byron W. Dickerson, LR22282
JA, State of Texas, KWVA


LEE DAUSTER - CANDIDATE FOR DIRECTOR, KWVA

Mailing address/Contact information:

Lee Dauster
15444 Camino del Parque
Sonora, CA 95370
Ph. 209-588-1529
E-mail: leedauster@aol.com

Lee Dauster - In His Own Words

I was born in St. Louis, Missouri on Christmas Day 1928. My brother and I were abandoned by our father, but we were fortunate to have a loving, caring mother who fought her way alone through the "Great Depression," raising two boys. Our difficult time was compensated by the lessons learned watching our mother fight the overwhelming odds. She taught me to be a fighter, and I find myself to this day doing all I can to overcome the injustice that we are occasionally assigned.

I graduated June 1946 from high school and immediately joined the Marine Corps as a recruit at Parris Island, South Carolina. I enlisted for two years (1946-48). After boot camp I was sent to Cherry Point, North Carolina, and was assigned duty with a radar unit that tracked and directed fighter planes to the supposed enemy planes.

Following my discharge, I served two years as an active reservist in a U.S.M.C. fighter squadron. I served as the intelligence clerk for the squadron of F-4-U.4s. (This same squadron provided close air support for Marines in Korea.) In September of 1950, I was called to duty from an inactive reserve status and arrived in Korea with the third replacement draft aboard the ship General E.T. Collins. This draft was made up of 1800 men. We arrived at Hungnam in late December 1950 when the Chosin Marines were coming out. The same ship was used to transport many of the 1st Marine Division troops to safety at Pusan.

My service was with an artillery forward observation team assigned to George Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. I was wounded twice in a six-week period, losing a leg to automatic weapon fire on April 24, 1951 (the second night of the Chinese spring offensive). My personal citations include two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star. I was retired with wounds, and after 14 months of hospital time, returned to my wife and home in St. Louis.

From 1952 to 1956, I managed a drug store and fulfilled requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis. I graduated in May of 1956. My work, principally, was as a manufacturer representative for a major work clothing company. I traveled in my work and lived in Houston, Texas, from 1956 to 1965. Moving to California in 1965, my later work was as a self-employed casualty insurance agent and broker, where I remained until retirement.

I currently serve as the Commander of KWVA Chapter #7, Tuolumne County, California. I am also the Past Commander (President) of the Santa Clara County (San Jose, CA) Chapter #6 of the National KWVA. In addition, I served as President of G-3-1 Korea, a Marine Corps reunion group. My activities also include membership in the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Why do I want to become a national director of the KWVA? Well, I am a members' advocate. I believe that the membership can be represented in an improved manner. I believe that those members who disagree with a management style should be heard and fairly represented in an open forum. I believe that the bylaws of our association should not be altered to satisfy or further the aims of any individual or group.

I respectfully solicit, and request your support in the forthcoming election.

- Lee Dauster, RO 05657, Candidate for Director


DEAN McCLAIN - CANDIDATE FOR DIRECTOR, KWVA

Mailing address/Contact information:
Dean B. McClain
521 Westgate Blvd.
Youngstown, OH 44515-3407
Ph. or Fax: 330-799-9565
E-mail dbm521@aol.com

Dean McClain - In His Own Words

My name is Dean B. McClain LR19921. I am seeking the office of KWVA National Director for the term 2004-2007. I have submitted a notarized copy of my DD214 showing eligibility to hold the office, and a signed release for scrutinizing same.

I was born in July of 1932, and graduated from high school in 1950. I went to work on the railroad in advance of graduation. I was drafted into the Army on December 10, 1952, where I trained as a locomotive engineer. I shipped out in July of 1953, and served with a transportation railway battalion in Korea for 15 months. I was released on November 23, 1954.

I went back to the railroad, where I served 20-plus years. I served for several years as local chairman of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen Union. I studied and worked six years in life insurance, where I achieved a LUTC degree. I also worked for a local jeweler, where I learned watch making. I took business administration courses, and then opened my first watch shop in 1968 while continuing to work on the railroad. I was appointed Railroad Watch Inspector in 1982. I am now semi-retired, but remain active part-time in our family jewelry business.

My affiliations with veterans organizations include life member, AMVETS, serving as Department of Ohio deputy inspector general, serving on the national committee for the Korean War 50th anniversary (J. Norbert "Skip" Reiner, chairperson), and District 19 vice commander. I was the American Legion post adjutant, past 1st vice commander, chairman of Boys State, and aid to the Department Commander. I am the founder and three-time president of KWVA Ohio Chapter 137. I was the two-term commander of the United Veterans Council with a membership of 38 posts. I was president of Mahoning County Veterans Memorial.

I am also active in VFW, Army Navy Garrison, ITAM Vets, and am a Marine Corps League associate. I produce a monthly newsletter to 38 local member posts. I receive weekly e-mail reports from the Washington DC observers, and I attend several VA seminars each year to keep posted on Veteran Entitlements. In 2000, I was voted Mahoning County Veteran of the Year, citing superior service to veterans.

I have served as a Scout Master, Kiwanis member, Insurance Agent Union Local Vice President, and president of the City Camera Club. I am serving my second term as president of Austintown Democratic Club. I am an active 32nd degree Mason, and a church member.

I believe I can help improve our Korean War Veterans Association, and I pledge to do my best to achieve a supreme rated veterans organization. I pledge to attend every Executive Council meeting during my tenure, understanding that two unexcused absences from meetings could cause removal from office. I further pledge to monitor and protect the Constitution and Bylaws of the KWVA, and insure the adherence of same by our national officers. High on my list of priorities are: obtaining a national charter, new programs and better communications, and broader, unlimited range of input by our membership.

I need your vote. I want the job. Thank you.

- Dean McClain


Unethical Electioneering Tactics

Coonites Begin Smear Campaign

The 2004 Smear Campaign sponsored by Harley Coon and his Coonite followers began in earnest during the month of February 2004. From Coon endorsements in The Graybeards to phony claims in e-mail messages to a shell game of deceit, the Coonites once again are showing a low standard of ethics in the Year 2004 KWVA national election.


Coon Endorsements in Graybeards

Lou Dechert’s opponents in this year's election began their unethical campaign tactics early. Illegal KWVA President Harley Coon and Coonite Graybeards Editor Vincent Krepps started the ball rolling with their standard, one-sided electioneering in The Graybeards. In the January/February 2004 issue (page 4), Coon utilized the President’s Message section to state that Coonite candidate Jack Edwards had "earned the honor of becoming the next President of the KWVA." Coon then went on to spout the good qualities of other Coonite candidates.


Edwards Attempts to Discredit Dechert

Candidate Edwards moved forward from this Coon political endorsement in the national magazine to begin his own unethical smear campaign against his opponent, Lou Dechert of Louisiana. Dechert is the commander of Chapter 180 Korean War Veterans, a group not affiliated with the KWVA. The chapter distanced itself from the national KWVA when Harley Coon illegally changed the KWVA bylaws to run for an illegal third term of office. Dechert explained, "In 2001 our chapter became extremely concerned over the illegal disregard of the national bylaws of the KWVA by National officials. We decided to more or less go our own way, following the objectives that the National was supposed to be following, but otherwise staying away from them, legally, as long as they were breaking the law by disregarding bylaws and other legal problems."

While CENLA is not a KWVA chapter, Dechert himself is a life member of the Korean War Veterans Association, and several members of the CENLA Chapter are members of the KWVA national. Dechert has served in several veterans, military and government organizations. Besides being the Commander of CENLA, he is also the Commander, Department of Louisiana of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and a life member of the MOPH. He is a life member in the Association of the US Army (AUSA), the 101st Airborne Division Association (#87), the 40th Infantry Division Association, and the Special Forces Association.

In spite of Dechert’s impressive and obvious military background, KWVA presidential candidate Jack Edwards began efforts to discredit Dechert as early as February 2004. Election rules don’t require that a candidate for national office be the president of a KWVA chapter, nor do any articles or sections within the KWVA bylaws demand the return of a chapter charter if not all of the chapter members are members of the national KWVA. Nevertheless, in an e-mail message dated February 22, 2004, Jack Edwards (over the titles "Chairman Membership Committee" and "Member By-Laws Committee") demanded that his opponent Lou Dechert, "return your KWVA National Charter to the National Secretary until your chapter decides it will abide by National By-Laws." Edwards then distributed this same demand letter to 250 different e-mail recipients on the Internet. The text of the Edwards demand is below:

FROM: Jack Edwards [jj.edwards@verizon.net]
TO: Louis T. Dechert
CC: Tom Gregory; Harley Coon; Howard Camp
SUBJECT: Re: KWVA 2004 slate of officers
Lou, In response to your open letter dated Feb. 1,2004 Korean War Veterans. Since you are so knowledgeable about KWVA affairs (you stated that your chapter has 48 members and only 11 are members of KWVA National) since you are violating KWVA National By-Laws Mr. Chapter President, please return your KWVA National Charter to the National Secretary until your chapter decides it will abide by National By-Laws.
- Jack Edwards - Chairman, Membership Committee
Member By-Laws Committee

Lou Dechert responded to Edwards with the following letter:

MISSION: Take HILL 2004!
02.22.2004.1825
Mr. Edwards-
Your email asserts "Since you are so knowledgeable about KWVA
affairs. . . ." I detect sarcasm.

I know a few things about being a good member in, and when elected, helping in directing the affairs of veterans organizations of every stripe--and have done so. However, I seem to know a hell of a lot more about good order and discipline than you--and your cohorts--appear to know. Your request, if based on fact and bylaws is still out of order. No one has by legal corporate action, with EC approval, appointed, delegated, directed you to write command or demand letters to chapter or department commanders--unless you, too, would like to claim powers bestowed upon yourself from Lincoln's freeing the slaves a century or so ago. I think otherwise--and so does Chapter 180.

If Chapter 180 is in violation of some bylaw, please cause someone in authority to cite article and section in writing to our Adjutant. It will then be legally considered and proper disposition will be made.

Our membership changes almost from month to month, but it is now 50 live ones, plus three deceased. It has been as low as 40 +3. We keep the names of the deceased on our rolls but do not count them in our membership figures. However, headquarters still shows all three on the National Roster. And in addition to these three, Mr. Edwards, you will find, upon examination of the National Roster, 28 additional names among our 50 members who are dues paying members to National. There are two members more pending receipt of national numbers--they joined just so they could vote against your slate in this election. You fellows are not very much admired down here in the southwest.

Proper KWVA authority may contact the Office of the Louisiana Secretary of State for a copy of our incorporation. Since that status is in no way dependent upon your incorporation (Charter) your writ/authority does not apply.

Your "attention" to the affairs of CENLA Chapter 180 is noted.

Commander Lou Dechert LR27194
CENLA 180, KOREAN WAR VETERANS
www.dechertsitreps.com


Krepps Distorts the Facts

Outside of the pages of The Graybeards, Vincent Krepps took another strategy to discredit non-Coonite candidates running in this year’s election. On February 18, 2004, Krepps widely distributed a letter that attempted to discredit the service that non-Coonite candidates have given to the Korean War Veterans Association through the years. Krepps claimed that, "Many of the other candidates have never been part of KWVA National, nor have they been to meetings." This was a false statement. Take Hill 2004 candidates include present and past chapter officers, as well as past national KWVA officers and active members of local chapters.

Krepps further twisted the truth when he stated that, "All changes to our bylaws and others [sic] items brought before the board was [sic] voted on or approved or disapproved by the board. All then went before that membership present for a final vote. The rules we are enforcing today was approved or disapproved by those present which required a quorum." The operative words here are "or disapproved by the board." The change to the KWVA bylaws in 2001 that created a third-term presidency was, indeed, disapproved by the board. In spite of this, Harley Coon bypassed the procedure to change the bylaws by not informing the membership at large that such a vote would be taken at a general meeting, and by disregarding the decision of the executive council. Numerous members of the KWVA, as well as the KWVA national judge advocate, Sherman Pratt, condemned Coon’s orchestration of an illegal bylaws change. In spite of their protests, however, Coon and his council supporters allowed the illegal bylaws change to stand. Krepps knew this full well when he distributed his message replete with falsehoods.


Jack Edwards Plays the Shell Game

In order to seek votes, Coonite candidate Jack Edwards has distributed thousands of campaign letters to KWVA members nationwide. This in itself is not underhanded. What is unethical, however, is the fact that Edwards changes the names of the candidates on his endorsement slate, depending on to which area of the country he mails his solicitation letter. For example, in a letter to Texas KWVA members, Edwards added (without permission) the name of Take Hill 2004 candidate and Texan Byron Dickerson to his list of Coon/Edwards endorsed candidates. In order to convince Texas voters that one of their fellow Texans was in the Edwards corner, Edwards bumped off the name of candidate Mike Mahoney from his original slate of endorsed candidates, inserting Dickerson's name. In his Texas letter, Edwards bumped off the name of candidate Ken Cook from his original slate as well, inserting instead the name of Texas Coonite candidate James Hall. (Cook is the KWVA national officer who wrote an insufficient funds check to a KWVA member, using a private account entitled, "KWVA Quartermaster." The quartermaster position was eliminated from the KWVA months earlier when the council sold the quartermaster inventory to "one of their own"--Ken Cook.) Hall is a former POW friend of Harley Coon.

In a similar ploy, Edwards bumped off Cook's name from his original slate of endorsed candidates when he mailed a solicitation letter to Florida KWVA members. In an effort to gain more Florida votes, Edwards added the name of Floridian Ed Cutler, a Take Hill 2004 candidate, to his endorsement list. In both instances, the solicitation letter was identical with the exception of the names on Edwards' slate of endorsed candidates.

On March 23, 2004, KWVA members in northeastern United States discovered that Edwards had mailed out yet another bogus candidate slate, this time substituting the name of Bob Morga for Ken Cook. Morga is from the northeast, is a former national director of the KWVA, and is fairly well-known in that part of the country. Without a doubt, Candidate Jack Edwards was once again attempting to pull a fast one on the members of the KWVA by throwing out Morga's name as a red herring to get votes in the northeast.

Further attempting to confuse and deceive KWVA members, Edwards sent countless copies of his campaign letters out under the Department of Florida KWVA letterhead. Edwards is not an officer of the Department of Florida. According to Jake Feaster, president of the Department of Florida KWVA, Edwards had no authority whatsoever to utilize DoF stationery for electioneering purposes.

Edwards' latest attempt to scam the members of the KWVA was discovered on April 2, when friends of Take Hill 2004 candidate Lee Dauster of California found Dauster's name in an Edwards' endorsed letter to California veterans. What a shell game racket Jack Edwards has going!

In an open statement written long before Edwards’ Texas letter was distributed, Candidate Byron Dickerson denounced the harmful acts against the members of KWVA that have been perpetrated by Coon and other executive council members during Coon’s tenure as both the legal and illegal president of the national KWVA. He was not pleased with the Edwards’ endorsement. His full statement appears above his biographical sketch in this section of KWVA News. On March 26, Dickerson issued a complaint to Edwards after discovering that his name was added to Edwards' Coonite slate without his permission. He wrote:

"Jack, I was shocked to hear my name was on your slate. I never gave you permission to use my name at any time, matter of fact we have never communicated in any way at any time. I realized this was an attempt on your part to divide and conquer. I would have thought that if you intended to include my name you would have at least sent me a letter.  But I received copies of the letter from a couple of friends across the country. My position in this election is well documented at Korean War Educator (Lynnita Brown's Web Site), Korean War Project, and the Ferret. All of these were posted long before your so called endorsement. I am proudly committed to the TAKE HILL 2004 Slate headed by Lou Dechert and including Dick Adams, Myself, Lee Dauster, Dean McLain, Bob Morga and Ed Cutler.  We are united in this taking back for the membership of the KWVA everything that has been taken away by you and your cohorts. By the way notice how my name is spelled, not how you spelled it. " - Byron W. Dickerson

Cutler was equally not pleased with finding his name in Edwards’ Florida letter. In protest of Edwards’ unsolicited endorsement, as well as Edwards’ underhanded use of his name to win votes from his fellow Floridians, Cutler wrote to Edwards:

"JACK: WHAT GAVE YOU THE RIGHT TO PUT MY NAME ON YOUR SLATE? You know that I am on the slate with Lou and Hill 2004. I was never asked by you or even mentioned to you that I wanted to be on your slate. I take it as a compliment that you did it but, it is not acceptable. Take Hill 2004 is the slate I opted to be on and will work with those on that slate to win this election. The Council meeting I attended in Northern FL. I did not see you or anyone from your Chapter, so how dedicated are you to your own state. What other members of KWVA have said about you and your deeds are things that I had no knowledge of therefore, I can't say whether they are true or not. As I stated before I am a Korean Era Vet and proud of it. Why you did nothing to stop what went on is not my call but that of your fellow vets that know you. TO SHOW ME THAT YOU ARE A MAN OF HONOR IT IS ONLY FITTING THAT YOU SEND A LETTER TO ALL THAT REC'D YOUR SLATE, STATING THAT CUTLER IS NOT ON YOUR SLATE AND WAS PUT ON BY MISTAKE. Again, it was a nice gesture to be thought of but it was done underhanded and without permission. - Ed Cutler, running for Director with the Hill 2004 slate"

Take Hill 2004 candidate Lee Dauster posted this message on the KWVA Ad Hoc message board on April 2:

"For two weeks I felt slighted when I heard that tricky Jack Edwards had not included me in his dishonest attempt to split and divide. But Lo and Behold, I was not omitted from his plan. Down at our local Veterans Building today, some vets started kidding me about a letter received from Edwards. I have just learned that he "highly endorsed me" along with Coon, DeLap, and Sutphin for a director position. What an underhanded, dishonest attempt to transfer my loyal friends into his camp, and what a joke to think that it would work. My friends, I continue to be amazed at the total lack of integrity of this criminal bunch. The odds are against us, but I recall other combat situations where we were outnumbered. We always won, and I think this election is just another fire fight. WE Will Overcome. Semper Fidelis (always faithful) to my honest Korean war Vet Brothers. - LEE DAUSTER"

The shell game that Jack Edwards is now playing with the members of the Korean War Veterans Association is an indication that, if elected, Edwards will keep up the Coonite practice of deceiving the members for his own self-serving purposes. By removing the names of his original endorsees and substituting them with the names of opposition candidates, Edwards has shown that he is even willing to sell out his own teammates in order to pick up where Harley Coon leaves off after Coon’s illegal tenure as third-term president has ended.


Coonites Misuse The Graybeards

Before and after the Year 2004 election ballots were distributed in The Graybeards magazine, both the current illegal president of the KWVA and the Coon-appointed magazine editor Vincent Krepps began to use the columns of The Graybeards to attempt to carry out their own agenda during the 2004 election. Both men used KWVA money and the national magazine to electioneer for Coonite candidates in the Year 2004 election. Examples of this appeared in the most recent (May-June 2004) issue of the magazine. [See pages 4, 6, and 7.]


The "Special Bulletin"

Simultaneous with the distribution of the April-May Graybeards magazine, but under separate cover, a "Special Bulletin" was mailed to the membership of the KWVA under the auspices of the Korean War Veterans Association. The address on the letterhead of the bulletin appears to be the home address of Harley Coon, one of the candidates in the Election 2004. It was mailed via Non-Profit Permit No. 3 in Jacksonville, FL. KWVA Ad Hoc member Kelly Goodblood did some investigating and found out that Permit No. 3 is owned by Finisterre Publishing Incorporated, P.O. Box 70346, Beaufort, SC 29907. The company is the publisher of The Graybeards, official newsletter of the KWVA.

The bulletin purportedly has a three-fold purpose: (1) to convey timely information about the upcoming 20th annual KWVA reunion, (2) to request assistance from the membership in obtaining a Federal Charter for the organization, and (3) to clarify misconceptions and false accusations concerning the procedures and actions of the current KWVA administration. Not much more than a bare outline of the agenda for the Year 2004 reunion was published in the "Special Bulletin", and a mere quarter of a page was devoted to requesting help from the members to obtain a federal charter. Most of the remainder of the bulletin was used in an attempt to discredit the Korean War Educator Foundation and its founder, Lynnita Brown. Above all, it was used by its author to tout the merits of electing Coonite candidates in this years national election.

The "Special Bulletin" is the most blatant, one-sided electioneering tactic in the entire history of the Korean War Veterans Association. It, in fact, goes far beyond electioneering to actual tampering with the election process because the timing of the distribution coincided with the actual marking of ballots that had already been distributed to KWVA members. Within the columns of the "Special Bulletin", the unknown person who authored the bulletin as an "official publication of the Korean War Veterans Association" recommended that the members of the KWVA vote for a particular slate of candidates over other candidates running for office. The "Special Bulletin" is an example of yellow journalism and unethical conduct on the part of officials of a non-profit at their worst. Its unknown author apparently had access to the membership roster of the KWVA, and chose to exploit it by campaigning for his or her personally-preferred candidates, using KWVA treasury money to electioneer for them.

The bulletin contains eleven "false accusations" purportedly made by Lynnita Brown via the Korean War Educator. The accusations stem from a document called "Recap - Harley Coon Administration." The Recap was written by Mrs. Brown with the assistance of members of the KWVA. In recent weeks and months, the Recap has been widely distributed to KWVA chapters and individual members, and it is posted on two places on the Korean War Educator website: KWVA News - About Harley Coon and KWVA News - Harley Coon Recap.

The unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" calls the issues listed on Brown's Recap, "without merit." Each "false accusation" and "fact" listed in the "Special Bulletin" is herein addressed by Mrs. Brown via this page of the Korean War Educator. The members of the Korean War Veterans Association need to investigate the issues and facts and make their own determination as to the merits of the issues brought forth in the Recap.

(1) Issue No. 21 of the KWE Recap makes the following accusation about the Harley Coon Administration: Issue: Ill-treatment of the Korean War Educator Foundation. By issuing a recommendation of "no support" for the KWE in the President's Message (pg. 4, November/December 2003 The Graybeards), Harley Coon violated Article 1 (Charter), Third Section, 4, of the KWVA bylaws. This is an act harmful to the members of the KWVA.

In response to this accusation, the unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" made the true statement that Lynnita Brown of the Korean War Educator was turned down by the KWVA Finance Committee for a $15,000 request to help finance the website that she maintains. Brown's proposal was turned down at a finance committee meeting prior to the annual meeting in 2003. Over a month passed before Brown received word from the KWVA that the proposal had been denied. What is not fact is that Brown then began some sort of "very vindictive" campaign in an attempt to malign the KWVA with false accusations. Brown, a long-time associate member and supporter of the KWVA, is also a seasoned grant writer. She has written well over $200,000 in successful grants. She wrote some unsuccessful ones along the way, too. As such, Brown learned long ago that, when it comes to grants, "you win some and you lose some."

The Korean War Educator ranks as one of the top Korean War-related websites in the world. No salary money is expended by the organization, which is entirely devoted to honoring Korean War veterans and educating the public about the Korean War. The Korean War Veterans Association should want to support the KWE. However, that old adage, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink," holds equally true for the national officers of the KWVA. It takes leadership with vision to understand the importance of the Korean War Educator for Korean War veterans. Unfortunately, the majority of the current leaders of the national KWVA obviously do not have that vision.

It should be noted that, long before the KWE grant proposal was turned down, Brown was publicly expressing her concern over KWVA mismanagement at the national level. It should be further noted that, just because the KWVA Finance Committee turned down the KWE's grant proposal doesn't mean the KWE can't survive. If you are reading this message, obviously the KWE is still going strong! The Korean War Educator has no need to be "vindictive."
 

(2) Issue No. 14 on the Recap makes the following accusation about the Harley Coon Administration: "95% audit" of over $600,000 of KWVA cash assets. Investigation has revealed that no full audit of the organization's books and records has been taken during all of Coon's 5+ years as President, both the legal and illegal years. Poor stewardship of membership dues is a harmful act against the members.

The fact that the leadership of the national KWVA is now scrambling to try to get an audit done (according to the "Special Bulletin") so that it will appear in the post-election issue does not erase the fact that no full audit of the KWVA's financial records has been conducted in the almost six-year term (four years legal, two illegal) of Harley Coon.
 

(3) Issue No. 15 of the Recap addresses: Slow growth of the National KWVA treasury. Why isn't the KWVA's currently-reported $600,000 treasury growing with added annual dues and fund-raising income? Hypothetical guess for dues income alone (actual figures not reported): 10,000 non-lifetime members x $20.00 = $200,000. Again, poor stewardship of membership dues is a harmful act against the members.

This issue is not an accusation. It is a question that, until the "Special Bulletin" was published, had not been addressed by the leaders of the KWVA. In the unknown author's response to this issue, funds released for the 2003 annual reunion to reduce the cost of individual payments and fees was mentioned. This statement causes a new set of question to arise: Who, specifically, were the members who benefited from the payment reduction? Has an audit of the 2003 reunion expenditures been conducted? If yes, by whom? Have the results of the audit been published? If yes, when and where? It should also be noted that Issue No. 15 of the Recap is directly related to Issue No. 34, Falsifying/Padding Membership Figures. This issue will be addressed later on this page.
 

(4) & (5) Issues No. 1 and 2 of the Recap address both the illegal change of KWVA bylaws and the illegal third term presidency of Harley J. Coon. The Recap statements are: 1) Issue: Illegal change of KWVA bylaws. Bylaws were violated for the amendment process (KWVA bylaws changes require that they: (a) be presented to the Chairperson of the Bylaws Committee at least thirty days before the next scheduled meeting of the Executive Council (b) be considered at that meeting [and, presumably, passed] (c) be published in Graybeards, and (d) voted upon at the next annual meeting). Harley Coon violated this process in 2001. The motion to eliminate term limitations for all officers failed by a vote of 6 yes 7 no at the council meeting in Crystal City, VA on July 25, 2001 (see pg. 6, July/August 2001 The Graybeards). Coon ignored the council's vote, bringing the defeated amendment before the membership for a vote the next day--in direct violation of Article VII, Section 2 of the KWVA bylaw. The Judge Advocate subsequently ruled that Coon had violated the bylaws, and that "there is no bylaws provision for the general membership to consider a bylaw change not first considered and approved by the Council." This was a harmful act against the membership. (2) Issue: Illegal third term presidency . Harley Coon ran for office a third term, in spite of the Judge Advocate's ruling declaring that a third term presidency was illegal because the KWVA bylaws were changed illegally in July of 2001. Coon has been serving as the illegal president of the KWVA since July 28, 2002. This is a harmful act against the membership.

The governing laws of the Korean War Veterans Association are its bylaws. The bylaws specifically state how bylaws can be changed. In 2001, Harley Coon violated those bylaws. Two different judge advocates (both appointed by Harley Coon himself) rendered formal opinions as to the legality of the bylaws change in 2001. They both stated the bylaws had been violated. Coon bypassed them for the self-serving purpose of staying in office during the 50th anniversary commemorative events marking the beginning and end of the Korean War. Harley Coon is the illegal president of the KWVA--pure and simple.

(6) Issue No. 4 on the Recap deals with the illegal removal of members. It states: Issue: Illegal removal of members. Removal of three members (Pappas, Rittenhouse, Tramonte) from the executive council and/or membership roster were based on trumped up charges. These were harmful acts against members.

The "Special Bulletin" states that the KWVA's "president" did not have the authority to cancel the membership of Tramonte or Rittenhouse. That certainly is true. Whether sitting legally or illegally as the president of the KWVA, Harley Coon did not have the authority to remove either Tramonte or Rittenhouse from the council or from the membership roster, as the case may be. The matter must be brought before the Executive Council. There was no quorum present when Coon brought this issue to the Executive Council in Tuscola, Illinois. When there is no quorum present, business cannot be conducted. The bylaws do not allow the decision-makers on the Executive Council to be bypassed on a matter of this great importance. When Coon bypassed the Council, he violated the KWVA bylaws.

(7) The "Special Bulletin" states that the issue of illegal procedural actions with respect to removal of members is a "false accusation". Interestingly, the unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" brings up the name of Nick Pappas, a strong opponent of the Coon Administration and long-time thorn in Harley Coon's side. The Korean War Educator's Recap lists the issue of illegal procedural actions with respect to removal of members as issue No. 5. There is absolutely no reference to Nick Pappas in Issue No. 5. The text of Issue No. 5 on the Recap is published below verbatim. It is 100% true and accurate, and cannot be refuted by Harley Coon or any member of the Executive Council because the text is based on the official minutes of the KWVA:

Issue: Illegal procedural actions with respect to removal of members. Coon conducted a General Membership meeting (quorum present) on March 24, 2001, at which time illegal president Coon by-passed the procedures mandated in the KWVA by-laws to expel members of the KWVA, as well as to expel members of the Executive Council. Removals, suspensions, and expulsions must be brought before a legal Executive Council meeting for a 2/3 vote PRIOR TO GOING BEFORE THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP FOR A VOTE. The Executive Council meeting held on March 24, 2001 immediately before the general membership meeting, did not have a quorum present. (Absent at the Tuscola meeting: Magill, Clawson, Settle, Trousdale, Morga, Tramonte, Adams, Rittenhouse). WHEN THERE IS NO QUORUM AT AN EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING, NO BUSINESS CAN BE CONDUCTED. By calling for a vote of two types of expulsion (from membership roster & from executive council) via non-executive council members at a general membership meeting, Coon violated Article II. Section 2.b and Article III. Section 5.a. When Coon violated Article II. Section 2.b and Article III. Section 5.a, he also violated Article III, Section 7.a. In that Article, the President is mandated to perform the functions conferred upon him by the bylaws. Coon failed to do that, and in so doing, he caused harm to two specific members of the KWVA (Rusty Tramonte and Skip Rittenhouse) and harmed the members in general by refusing to comply with the organization's bylaws.

(8) The unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" claims that issue No. 9 on the Korean War Educator's Recap of the Coon Administration is a "false accusation." The stated issue is: Falsehood by Harley Coon with respect to "Donated space" for a headquarters. The "donated space" was a small area in a building that was owned by Coon, and that housed his company, HarCo Tool Co. (see pg. 4, May/June 2002 issue of The Graybeards). Investigation revealed that apparently the space was not "donated" after the election. A $52,000 charge was made in KWVA's statement of operations under "Main Office, Beavercreek, Ohio" (see pg. 11, November/December 2002, The Graybeards for breakdown of expense). This was an act harmful to members.

The Korean War Educator once again refers the members of the KWVA and the general public to page 11 of the November/December 2002 issue of the Graybeards. The budget for the national headquarters published there directly contradicts what was stated on page 4 of the May/June 2002 issue of the Graybeards.

(9) The "Special Bulletin" notes that Lynnita Brown made the false accusation that the organization was not in poor financial health when President Coon took office. Lynnita Brown made no such accusation in the Recap or anywhere else.

(10) In the guise of responding to Issue No. 22 of the Recap, the unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" took the opportunity to electioneer for his or her candidates of choice, using KWVA money to do so. Issue No. 22 states: Issue: Attempt to rig elections. KWVA Director Don Byers motion that effectively will "rig" all future KWVA elections if passed. It is also a motion that violates Article III, Section 3.D. Passage of the Byers motion would be an act harmful to the members of the KWVA.

This issue can be further studied by reviewing the Byers motion on page 11 of the November/December 2003 issue of the Graybeards. In it, Byers proposed that the KWVA Nominating Committee establish a recommended slate of officers and directors for the next and all future elections. The minutes state, "The recommended slate of one individual for each office, along with their pictures and resumes, shall be published in the Graybeards and on the official ballot. Space shall be provided on the official ballot for write-in candidates." Jack DeLap seconded the motion and it is now in committee. The Korean War Educator and Lynnita Brown stand firmly by this accusation. If the Byers motion passes, all future elections of the KWVA will be rigged.

(11) The censorship of the Graybeards magazine is well-known and can be proven hands down. Issue No. 8 of the Recap is actually about illegal electioneering more than it is about general censorship. It states: Use of The Graybeards magazine for illegal electioneering. The Judge Advocate's ruling with respect to the illegal third-term presidency was completely ignored when Harley Coon and his associates used the national KWVA magazine for illegal electioneering By selectively using one-sided material to assist Coon to get reelected for an illegal third-term presidency, and by censoring and/or shutting out any opposing material for use in The Graybeards, both Coon and Krepps prostituted the election process. This caused serious damage to what otherwise should have been a fair and unbiased election process. Once again, the membership of the KWVA was harmed by these actions. (See pp. 4, 7, 21, May/June 2002, The Graybeards.)

The unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" places the entire responsibility for the contents of the Graybeards on one contractual employee of the KWVA: Vincent Krepps. Persons desiring to file an individual or class action suit against Mr. Krepps for misuse of his authority or possible mail fraud based on any misinformation or falsified photographs published under Krepps' direction might want his contact information: Vincent A. Krepps, 24 Goucher Woods Ct., Towson, MD 21286-5655; ph. 410-828-8978; e-mail vkrepps@erols.com.

In the meantime, it is interesting to note that 38 issues were brought forth in the Recap of the Harley Coon Administration written by Lynnita Brown. They addressed everything from fraudulent photographs published in the Graybeards to illegal bylaws changes to padding membership figures to conducting business without a quorum present--and so much more. The unknown author of the "Special Bulletin" avoided any mention of the remaining 27 issues.

The dirty electioneering tactics just keep on coming from Coon & Company -- with the members of the Korean War Veterans Association paying dearly for them in more ways than one. Although the "official information" stated in the "Special Bulletin" could just as easily have been published in the pages of the most recent issue of The Graybeards, the culprit(s) behind the mailing of the "Special Bulletin" frivously spent hundreds of dollars of KWVA money in an effort to sway the election in favor of Coonite candidates.

The following is also food for thought: The "Special Bulletin" was authored by someone who didn't have the fortitude it takes to stand behind the "truth" of what he or she wrote by attaching his or her name to the document. Any coward can write an anonymous document. The "Special Bulletin" was the act of such a coward.

The compilation known as the Recap of the Harley Coon Administration was written by Lynnita Jean Brown, 111 E. Houghton St., Tuscola, IL 61953; ph. 217-253-4620; e-mail lynnita@koreanwar-educator.org. Brown has always made herself known. In contrast, the author of the "Special Bulletin" hides in a cowardly fashion behind the name, "Korean War Veterans Association." If his or her given name is not worth stating, then more than likely the content of the anonymous "Special Bulletin" is not worth reading. The members of the KWVA should care less what a coward has to say, and focus on the documented issues that have been openly brought forth and addressed in the Recap and on Don Finch's KWVA Ad Hoc message board. The Korean War Educator Foundation encourages the voting members of the KWVA to support the anti-Coonite candidates who are taking a stand for what is right for the future of the Korean War Veterans Association.

TAKE HILL 2004! - Lynnita Brown


Aftermath of the "Special Bulletin"

When KWVA members expressed outrage over the distribution of the "Special Bulletin," Harley Coon passed the buck to council members Jim Ferris and Dot Schilling Wenzel by stating that the pair had entertained a motion for, and the council then authorized, the distribution of the "Special Bulletin." According to Coon, Ferris and Wenzel made and seconded motions to approve the "Special Bulletin" at an earlier council meeting. On the KWVA Ad Hoc message board, Coon shouted this message: " AT THE BEAVERCREEK MEETING DIRECTOR JAMES FERRIS MADE A MOTION TO SEND OUT A SPECIAL BULLETIN AND IT WAS SECOND BY DOT SCHILLING. MOTION PASSED. ORDERS CARRIED OUT. - H.J.C."

In an angry response letter to Coon, Ferris wrote:

"Harley: What the hell is going on, have you lost your mind. The Newsletter that we discussed at the Beavercreek meeting was supposed to be just that. A way of communicating information that would be useful to the membership during the period that the Graybreads was being printed. It was also supposed to be used by the members to send in their thoughts on any subject that they were concerned with. This so called Special Bulletin apparently is being used by you for political reasons. This [is] wrong and you know it. You were supposed to appoint two people to oversee this newsletter and you have not done that. The membership deserve an apology, I deserve an apology and Dottie deserves an apology and you should send out at your own expense another "Special Bulletin" condemning the first one you sent out, and admit it was a mistake. The damage is done now but it may help. I am at a loss for words on this subject it is outrageous. I will begin to notify all of the members in New York State and I suggest the other Presidents of Departments begin immediately to inform their members of this travesty. - Jim Ferris, National Director"

Unfortunately, a retraction is not possible. Once the words were distributed to the membership in an attempt to foil the election chances of Take Hill 2004 candidates (anti-Coonite candidates), they could not be taken back. The national headquarters of the KWVA has well and truly tainted the Year 2004 election. This flagrant use of KWVA treasury money to sway the election has not been accepted quietly. Newspaper reporters, syndicated columnists, attorney general's offices, and other legal authorities are now being called and contacted by members of the KWVA. The leaders of the Korean War Veterans Association behind this latest scam against the members have dragged the KWVA to rock bottom level with their lack of integrity.

An example of this lack of integrity can be found in a KWVA Ad Hoc message to Roger Haas from Harley Coon. On June 7, Coon wrote: "I just returned from up state New York where I was asked to speak at a memorial dedication. There were 5 chapters in attendance and all made comments of the good job national is doing." KWVA National director and New York resident Jim Ferris responded on June 8:

"I very seldom send anything over the AdHoc for reasons of my own. Not derogatory of the AdHoc but reasons of my own.. Harley Coon told us he was at a memorial service in New York recently and 5 chapters told him that he was doing a wonderful job. He also, in a very significant way alluded to the fact that I was not there for this dedication.
 
He was correct in this matter. I was not there. I do not have $10,000.00 a year travel allowance as he does, however that was not the reason I did not attend. I had a family function that needed my attention.

 
I am at a loss to think of who the five chapters were. That is over a third of the chapters who just recently asked me to denounce his actions concerning the use of the Graybeards and the so called "special bulletin" for political reasons.

 
My fellow KWVA veterans please remember the source and remember that I am the only guy on the entire national executive board that has stood fast against the pressures of the establishment.

I doubt very much that 5 chapters praised Harleys work, however I am sure some did and that is ok with me. We all have our opinions, thank God for that or we are not to survive."

Later in the day on June 8, another letter from KWVA National Director Jim Ferris appeared on the Ad Hoc message board. Addressed to the executive council, it was written by Jim Ferris on behalf of New York members of the KWVA. It said:

25 May 2004

FROM:
James E. Ferris, President
New York Department Korean War Veterans Association
4311 Lazybrook Circle Liverpool, New York 13088
315-457-1681
reddogferris@aol.com

TO:
Mr. Harley J. Coon, President
Korean War Veterans Association Incorporated
1545 Marsetta Drive
Beaver Creek, Ohio 45432

Dear President Coon:
A New York State Department of the KWVA conference was held in Calicoon, New York on 20 May 2004, and attended by members of a majority of the affiliated chapters within the Empire State.

 The poor judgment you exercised in issuing a so called "Special Bulletin" in an attempt to influence the upcoming National election was discussed at length, as was your Presidents’ Message in the Graybeards.

It was unanimously felt that your interference in this matter was ill conceived, in poor taste, unprofessional and unworthy of someone who purports to be an honorable person.
Our Department members demanded by majority vote that I as President send you this letter of censure on behalf of the thousands of members within our State. We realize it is too late to undue the harm you have done within the democratic process and to those members who aspire to National Office.

(signed) James E. Ferris, President
New York State Department KWVA


More Tricks

If KWE readers have documented evidence that the Coonite faction of election candidates has carried out other unethical campaign tactics, please contact Lynnita Brown lynnita@koreanwar-educator.org. Proof in writing is required.

Lack of Defined Procedure

Jake Feaster, President of the Florida Department of the KWVA, recently pointed out on the KWVA Ad Hoc message board that the following safeguards to ensure a more valid election are not currently defined by either the bylaws or the officials of the Korean War Veterans Association. He said, "Presently nothing is shown in either a procedures manual or bylaws regarding the balloting procedures. It is all behind closed doors, leaving many questions by the KWVA membership regarding the validity of the organization's national elections." Jake brings KWVA members' attention to these extremely important questions:

1. What are the instructions given to the CPA as to which ballots are from paid-up members?
2. If the CPA is given a list of paid-up members, what is the effective cut-off date for posting their eligibility?
3. The Mar/Apr Graybeard contains the ballot; is it sent ONLY to those who were eligible to vote as of the date the "labels" (approximately Apr 1) were printed?
4. Are those members whose dues are paid (new & renewals) AFTER the labels (#3 above) and before the deadline date for counting ballots, sent a ballot?
5. To solve the problem noted in #4 and created by #3, would it not be logical (if it is not being done already) to send a Graybeard with ballot to ALL whose dues are paid through the previous year and let the auditor screen out any ballot that was not valid as of the time ballots were counted, using a list provided him/her which listed ALL who had paid thru the date of the ballot count?


Reflecting Back - Election 2001

  1. Coon engineered an illegal change in the term limits clause of the KWVA bylaws by bypassing the proper procedure to change those bylaws for his own self-serving purposes.
  2. Numerous council members did not take a stand against this illegal action.
  3. Coon's Coonite sidekick Ken Cook (appointed by Coon as Nominating Committee chairman) accepted Coon's nomination as candidate for president, knowing full well that Coon's bid for a third term was in direct violation of the bylaws, and had been illegally orchestrated by Coon himself.
  4. Use of the Graybeards for Coon's self-serving electioneering took place just prior to the election.
  5. (5) A fraudulent picture of the KWVA headquarters was published in the Graybeards to deceive the members of the KWVA at election time.
  6. A false claim of "donated space" for the headquarters (a Coon-owned building) was published in The Graybeards just before the election. A budgeted cost for that space in the amount of $52,000 was then published in The Graybeards just after the election.
  7. Newsletter Editor Vincent Krepps (a Coonite) used his control of The Graybeards columns to electioneer for the illegal candidate, Harley Coon.
  8. The CPA firm that counted the ballot was from the Nominating Committee Chairman's hometown. Cook is a Coonite who was appointed to his current position by Harley Coon after Cook had lost his bid for office in an earlier election.
  9. Election results presented at the general membership meeting following the election were announced by Coonite Cook, and he claimed the results were in favor of Coon.
  10. The Executive Council members then just minutes later voted to destroy all ballots with undue speed so there could be no possibility of a recount.
  11. The Executive Council failed to follow Roberts Rules of Order by failing to state in the official minutes who made the motion to destroy those ballots.
  12. Sherman Pratt, the Coon-appointed KWVA Judge Advocate (a friend, supporter, and advocate of Harley Coon) let all things illegal slide right through with little, if any, protest. (13) See again #2.


Reflecting Back - Election 1999

During the 1999 election, erroneous voting information was printed in The Graybeards magazine that resulted in problems with counting the ballots. KWVA bylaws forbid the photocopying of ballots, but the photocopy error in the 1999 election was caused by The Graybeards editor Vincent Krepps, not the voters themselves. Two national KWVA Judge Advocates offered their opinion on this and other matters in letters written in October of 1999. The text of the letters follow.

Edward Magill Letter to Nick Pappas
October 18, 1999

Dear Mr. Pappas:
This is in response to your letters of September 22, 1999 and October 4, 1999, with enclosures.

Based upon a careful review of the material included with your first letter, it is evident that there is no legal basis for the executive council’s 9/12/99 action denying the immediate past president a vote on matters being considered by the council. The action is also clearly contrary to the council’s past practice. It is my opinion, therefore, that the council’s challenged action was illegal and that the immediate past president is entitled to voting privileges as a member of the executive council.

With respect to the issue raised in your second letter, after reviewing the materials submitted therewith, it appears that the executive council was technically correct in deciding not to count photocopied ballots in the recent election.

In retrospect, it is obvious that the problem was created when erroneous voting information was printed in the KWVA’s official publication, THE GRAYBEARDS and never corrected, thereby misleading 259 otherwise qualified voters to their ultimate detriment. Under these unusual circumstances, it is reasonable to opine that the KWVA is equitably estopped from disregarding the 259 challenged ballots that were the direct result of its own confused instructions to KWVA voters.

In my considered opinion it would be in the best enlightened interests of the KWVA to rescind the original election results and to have a recount including the 259 challenged ballots.

Sincerely,
(signed) Edward L. Magill
Judge Advocate


Sherman Pratt Letter to Harley Coon

October 20, 1999

Dear Harley:

This further responds to your telecom of the other night wherein you asked if I would accept the appointment of KWVA Judge Advocate, and I indicated that I would consider it. I gathered that you have had some differences in views with the present JA or that he does not desire to continue to serve. I feel most complimented that you would want my services and of course am eager, as always, to do what I can on behalf of the Association. I am ever mindful of the contributions of time and effort that you are unselfishly making to keep the KWVA rolling and if there is something I can do harmoniously to support you and lighten your load I am only too willing to oblige.

Following your call, some additional information was brought to my attention in the form of copies of letters by former President Nick Pappas to the present Judge Advocate Ed Magill and Magill’s reply thereto. My understanding is that you also have copies, or are aware of their contents.

The substance of the matter seems to be that there are some disagreements within the Association concerning (1) the legality of the Executive council’s recent action to change the Bylaws and withdraw the right of a past president to vote as a member of the Executive Board, and (2) whether the 259 challenged ballots from the last election should be counted or disregarded. JA Magill has written that he feels (1) the action of the council was illegal and (2) that the challenged ballots should not be rejected because erroneous voting information, relied on by the membership to their detriment, was printed in the Graybeards. There may be, of course, other background information related to this that I am unaware of and that could alter my views, but on the basis of the documents I have seen, and references cited, I want you to know before proceeding further with action to appoint me JA that I agree fully with the legal opinion of JA Magill.

Additionally, if you elect to proceed with my appointment notwithstanding the knowledge that I am in agreement on the above matters with the present JA, I want to make it clear that I would agree to serve only if approved unanimously, or nearly unanimously, by the Executive Council. If there is friction or opposition on my appointment, I would not want to be a party to any development that would cause strife, unrest or dissension in the KWVA. We have had enough of that in the past and the time is past due now to end it and move forward and onward.

Be assured of my deep appreciation to you for considering me for this important position.

(signed) Sherman W. Pratt


Jerome Manley Letter

Following is a letter written by Jerome Manley to Vincent Krepps, editor of the KWVA newsletter. Manley lives at 660 Marigold Terrace, Fridley, MN 55432. His phone number is 763-571-6963, and his e-mail address is jerrymanley@msn.com. The letter is unedited.

April 18, 2004

Dear Vincent,

Because the ballot appeared in the March-April issue this letter will have no effect on the outcome of the elections when it appears in the May-June issue. In fact considering the views President Coon's has been allowed to express in the President's message in the past with no rebuttal it would not surprise me to find that this letter will never see the light of day in the Graybeards "letters to the editor."

I am a life member of the following veterans organizations, the National KWVA, Minnesota KWVA Chapter 11 Society of the Third Infantry Division, USA, VFW Minnesota Post #363, 7th US Regiment Association, and the Combat Infantrymen's Association. At the present time I am the National President of the Society of the Third Infantry Division USA. I write a column for the Society magazine also called the "Presidents Message."

Never, in my two years as Society President, have I allowed myself to express my personal opinion on such a purely political issue on who should be elected to any office, let alone devote an entire column to telling a captive audience what a terrific job I have done over the past few years and how only those who I endorse will continue my work.

I find it highly unethical for President Coon to even consider using his column for such purely political self praise and I also consider it terribly poor judgment on your part, as editor, to allow him to do so. If, in a moment of poor judgment I wrote and submitted such an article to the editor to the Society magazine I would hope that she would throw it out lock, stock, and barrel. It has no place in a veteran's magazine.

As a member you are certainly allowed to express your opinion but as the President (or editor) representing the entire KWVA you must, in fairness to all be strictly impartial. I am forwarding copies of this letter to other interested parties to reprint it in. its entirety if they wish.

Rock of the Marne! (The Third I D Motto )
Jerome A. Manley/Pres., Society of the 3rd ID, USA

/s/ Jerome A. Manley

 

 

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